AlphaTauri Formula 1 boss Franz Tost says the team should expect “fantastic races” from Yuki Tsunoda after labelling his ability as “extraordinary.”
Tsunoda has risen from Formula 4 through Formula 1 in just three years, securing a promotion to AlphaTauri after placing third, as top rookie, in Formula 2.
Tost has praised the 20-year-old’s skills and reckons he will figure strongly in Formula 1 this year, while cautioning onlookers to expect the occasional setback.
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“Yuki has already completed some tests with us in an F1 car and I’m convinced that he will have a successful start in his F1 career, due to his natural speed and his talent,” said Tost.
“We expect his learning curve to be quite steep, so he should be able to achieve a good performance quite quickly.
“Of course, he will have some crashes, that’s part of the development programme, but what is very extraordinary on his side is the car control, his strength on the braking and his speed in fast corners.
“If he continues his learning process, like he did at the tests in Imola and Abu Dhabi last year, I’m sure we will see some fantastic races.”
Newcomer Tsunoda will partner incumbent Pierre Gasly, last year’s Italian Grand Prix victor, who has started 64 races, all bar 12 with AlphaTauri/Toro Rosso.
Tost outlined that Tsunoda’s development will be aided by having Gasly as a team-mate.
“Pierre is a very high skilled driver and he now also has the necessary experience to be a leader in the team and for Yuki,” Tost explained.
“Every driver compares themselves with their team-mate so the better the latter is, the more you are pushed to improve yourself.
“Yuki can learn a lot from Pierre in all aspects, for example comparing the lap times, the set-up of the car, the driving lines – this is all very important, especially on those tracks that are new to Yuki.
“If you have a strong and experienced team-mate you can compare many different parameters, which help to improve your own performance.”